October 16, 2016

Placing the Focus on Thankfulness this Thanksgiving

Taking the time to study and celebrate Thanksgiving in an elementary classroom is a great way to create an environment of thankfulness.  When students are lead to practice gratitude it can help to build a mindful classroom.

However, being thankful does not come easy for all.  Whenever I ask my students to brainstorm what they are thankful for, I inevidably get the same three things: my family, my home, food.

Let's be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these three.  Those are absolutely things that we can, and should, be thankful for.  But I think it can go deeper.  Thankfulness can be more than the 'big three'. It can extend to specific characteristics, qualities, people and the 'little things' in life.  In every season there is always something to be thankful for.  I have taught in both high and low-income schools, and the practice of showing gratitude is not limited to any particular socioeconomic status.

This year, my grade three students were particularly thankful for their Grade Eight Buddies.  I teach in a K-12 school.  My class is both 'big' buddy to a class of Grade One students, and 'little' buddy for a class of Grade Eight students.  Their Grade Eight buddies visit them every second Friday during math, and it is just so welcomed.  Each of my littles gets one-on-one time with someone who can help to coach and encourage them through tricky concepts. It's also a great way to build multi-age friendships in such a diverse campus.

As part of our Thanksgiving unit we wrong Thankful Letters to our Grade Eight buddies.  We got the change to express gratitude for the way they show us patience, and how they faithfully encourage us to keep working hard even when we just don't get it. (Yet!)

In an already jam-packed curriculum, there is hardly any time for seasonal unit study... but I feel like a focus on thanksgiving is just so important.  I make sure that it integrates with my Language Arts outcomes so my students are still meeting provincial standards while also taking time to develop their character.

We follow my  "We Are Thankful" unit on Teachers Pay Teachers:

"We Are Thankful" - a Print-and-Go Unit  for First, Second, Third, and Fourth Grades
Available Here

You won't believe the stories my students come up with for the "How to Escape Thanksgiving" writing lesson:

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your classroom?  Have you ever practiced showing gratitude to another grade, or teacher in your school?  Let me know in the comments below!

October 04, 2016

ACSI Conference

Welcome ACSI Conference Attendees!

If you aren't already familiar, Teachers Pay Teachers is a website where you can buy affordable digital curriculum.  There are many quality Canadian teacher-authors on Teachers Pay Teachers, and a handful have offered ACSI conference attendees free lessons and units to try out in their classrooms!

To access your free resources follow the steps below:

1. CLICK HERE to be directed to our ACSI Dropbox containing all of the units.

2. Type in the password you received at the ACSI Conference. 

3. To download all resources click "Download" at the top of the page. 

4. OR download individual resources by clicking the resource title, and then clicking "Download" once the resource has loaded on your screen.  

Thanks also to Primary Teaching Resources, Fun in Fourth with Ms. Gatt, Sandra Farrell, A Grade One Nut, Diamond Mom, Grade One Snapshots, Proud to be Primary, and One Teacher's Adventures for their generous donations.

Wishing you all much success teaching the new BC Curriculum, and integrating a love and passion for Jesus above all!

Remember, you have been gifted a license for single-classroom use only.  Please respect the copyright of each document by not sharing files electronically or in-person.  Questions about this process or anything else related to the files?  Please e-mail Rachel at poetprints TPT (at) gmail (dot) com.